The apparel manufacturers and exporters of Bangladesh are searching for new markets in East Asia like Japan and South Korea as orders declined from crucial buyers in North America and Europe due to surging inflation, reports Nikkie Asia.
According to the report, The South Asian nation’s producers of ready-made garments are facing falling demand from their prime destinations like the European Union and the US as the customers are struggling with the economic fallout due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
Speaking to the Media, Shahidullah Azim, vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said that most factories are getting orders of less than 30% of their capacity for the next winter season amid record inflation.
“To cope with the ongoing turbulence on the global economic and political fronts, we have started looking for [nearer] destinations to export to,” he added.
According to the central bank, nine countries like Canada, the US, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK account for more than 70% of Bangladesh’s RMG exports.
Major brands include H&M, Primark, Zara, Walmart, Target, and M&S are the buyers of Bangladeshi RMG from the destination countries.
Shahidullah Azim also said that if they depend only on the US and EU, it will be a big problem.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic time, Bangladesh’s exports to a number of Asian countries rose notably. We want to expand this market,” said Azim.
Moreover, the demand for noncotton, man-made fibers such as polyester and viscose has increased worldwide. It will be a huge market, said Azim.
According to the BGMEA, Bangladesh is the world’s second-biggest clothing exporter, after China, shipments jumped by 35.47% to $42.61 billion in the fiscal year 2021-22 from $31.45 billion in FY20-21.
Stakeholders also told the media that maintaining healthy exports will be crucial for Bangladesh as it struggles with dwindling foreign exchange reserves.
Bangladesh’s clothing industry accounts for around a fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product and over 80% of its export earnings.